Is it better to float or glue down an engineered wood floor?

susanlynn2012October 25, 2008

Is it better to float or glue down an engineered wood floor over a cement floor that right now has a carpet on it that must be removed. The floor will have many heavy file cabinets on it and a lot of furniture on it.

Home Depot floated an engineered hardwood floor on a neighbor's slab so I do not see why all the installers that are giving me estimates want to use a moisture glue instead and tell me that they don't like to float floors in case the floor is not level.

Wanted a floated floor be softer to walk on?

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floorguy

It is the hollow clockity-clock that is heard from floating floors, that people don't like. It doesn't feel as solid as a fully glued wood floor. A floating floor will overcome some concrete moisture issues, but there is still a limit as to what it can take and the probability of the concrete and moisture barrier reaching dew point, under the flooring.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 9:15PM
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susanlynn2012

Thank you so much floorguy. So maybe having a glue down floor will not be so bad if that is what I am being offered in my quotes. They all tell me they use a special moisture resistance glue. I hope the glue does not outgas with vocs since I am sensitive to outgasing. Maybe there is a special low voc glue they can use?

Is it OK to immediately place heavy file cabinets back on the wood floor the same day? I thought that the floor had to be acclimated and now all the quotes included immediately installing the wood floor and ripping up the carpets the same day. Shouldn't the cement floor be cleaned first and maybe bleached since I know I saw huge pee marks from a prior big dog in the pad when I pulled up the rug years ago to remove it to have hardwood floors and then found out there was only a cement floor underneath the rug and the hardwood floors (engineered I recently found out) were only in the foyer areas.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 9:22PM
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jerry_t

Anybody that says they can come in the same day and rip out the carpet and immediately proceed to install either a floating floor or a glued down floor is not going to be performing the very necessary moisture testing and prep work a slab requires.... I can promise you that much . :)

Moisture resistant adhesives have very little to do with concrete vapor issues you may or may not have.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 6:44AM
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susanlynn2012

Thank you jerry_t for letting me know that tests need to be performed so I can ask the right questions to decide who I am hiring to perform the work. One installer who does not sell hardwood but only installs told my friend today, that if someone moves all the furniture and heavy file cabinets and makes the place ready for installing hardwood and if I had ordered the engineered wood already and acclimated it, he would install it for $2.50/sq ft as a floating floor. But then again, he has not done testing. I looked up some glues and some of the more expensive glues sound like they would have less moisture resistance problems. Another place about 1 hour from here would install the floor with glue for $2.40. Another place says $5.00 sq. ft including the best moisture resistance glue. Then there are all the other costs with the quarter-round and floor separating moldings for the three rooms that I am getting prices of $550 to $600.

At this point I want someone who knows what they are doing. I do not want someone moving the furniture back in here and scratching my floor. This is getting to be overwhelming due to the office furniture. The family room will be easy to move the furniture back and forth.

How should I clean the cement floor to get out any pee smells in case any pee has gone from the padding to the cement floor?

The installers want $.50/sq ft to remove the carpet if I do not have it removed which does not include throwing it away for me.

My brother told me last night that he would help me install the floor but he is more familiar with installing carpets and did not even know what engineered wood was. I want to make sure I do not have future problems and the job has to be done in about 3 days if possible for about 628 sq. feet so I can get back to work.

I was told by one guy 6% waste to buy and another 10% waste to buy. I am pretty sure I am going with the BR-111 Triangulo Engineered Brazilian Cherry in the three rooms and doing tile in the foyer areas.

I want to do tile in the kitchen since sometimes I get water in the cups in my dishwasher and it pours on my floor.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 12:23PM
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candibarr

I floated engineered wood over cork underlayment on a concrete slab on my lowest level. I didn't want to glue because I was scared of the demo if I had to replace it. Demo of glued-down flooring sounds like a terrible job. I used self-leveling compound over the worst parts of the slab, but there's plenty of places where the floor flexes a little. Not everyone notices it. I heard glue down can do the same thing, unless the installer uses weights to increase adhesion in uneven areas.

On my upper level I had the floor stapled and it's perfect.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 3:31PM
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susanlynn2012

candibarr, thanks for sharing. I found a company am comfortable with at a good price with installers that seem knowledgeable but the installers say I have to put a moisture sealer down on the floor first and then the next day glue down the hardwood which is more costly. It is upsetting me since I was ready to buy my engineered hardwood today. I do not like the mess it sounds like it will be and the additional cost of gluing down my floor. The store and installers wishes I would choose a laminate floor.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 1:40AM
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